Kids Playing

(especially unstructured play)


Kids Inside Watching TV,

Which is Better?

Playworks - Free Games Library

Advantages of Play

  "Play is so central to the Danish view of childhood that many Danish schools have programs in place to promote learning through sports, play, and exercise for all students. Play Patrol, for example, is focused on the youngest elementary school students, and is facilitated by the older ones. These student-led programs encourage both young and older students to play various activities such as hide-and-seek, firefighter, or family pet—and to encourage shy, lonely kids to join in the game too. This type of fun and imaginative play, with mixed age groups, encourages kids to test themselves in a way they wouldn’t with their parents or teachers. It greatly reduces bullying and further fosters social skills and self-control." - Alternet (Sept 2016)

  "As in the preschool study, for both groups of boys there was a direct and significant correlation between the level of playfulness and their ability to cope. The researchers concluded that play could be employed to improve coping skills, particularly the abilities to adapt and to approach problems and goals in a more flexible way." - Alternet (Sept 2016)

"Scientists are increasingly making the argument that play is needed for typical brain development. Play seems to be a central means through which juveniles build complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept, and cognitively flexible brains."  -  Psychology Today (Oct 2013)

"The idea that play contributes to human success goes back at least a century. But in the last 25 years or so, researchers like Elizabeth S. Spelke, Brian Sutton-Smith, Jaak Panksepp and Alison Gopnik have developed this notion more richly and tied it more closely to both neuroscience and human evolution. They see play as essential not just to individual development, but to humanity’s unusual ability to inhabit, exploit and change the environment."  - The New York Times (April 2013)

"Free Play Is Essential for Normal Emotional Development"  -  Psychology Today (June 2012)

"Camp provides time to be in nature and to practice living away from family. As parents are starting to pay camp deposits and embark upon a journey to find just the right sleeping bag, we noticed that other than time spent asleep, camp is one of the few extended periods of time when kids will be away from their screens and devices.  To better understand why it is hard to unplug for summer camp, we interviewed Michael Thompson, Ph.D., a Massachusetts psychologist and renowned parenting expert.  He is the author of a new book, Homesick and Happy: How time away from parents can help a child grow."  -  Psychology Today (May 2012)

"Three Ways to Use Play to Get Kids to Behave. Dads and Moms can get youngsters do what they need to do by making it fun." - Psychology Today (Feb 2012)

"It's every modern parent's worst nightmare—a school where kids can play all day. But no one takes the easy way out, and graduates seem to have a head start on the information age. Welcome to Sudbury Valley." - Psychology Today (Feb 2012)

"So, what is "evolutionary playwork" and why is this book a major achievement? Hughes coined the term (pp. 43-44) "to re-emphasise that the growing body of scientific evidence confirming a direct relationship between play, evolution and brain growth, demonstrated that play work should never have been viewed either as a social engineering, a socialising or citizenship tool, but rather as comprehensive support for deep biological processes—expressed through mechanisms like adaptation, flexibility, calibration and the different play types—that enabled the human organism to withstand the pressures of extinction." Thus, "playwork was about helping the species to survive extinction and adapt to change, by ensuring that wild adult-free play in diverse environments was still a choice for its children." Play is essential for the psychological well-being of the child. To cut through the chase, as an evolutionary biologist, I see Hughes arguing that play is vital to thriving, surviving, and reproducing. And, with careful study, we can learn much about the evolution of play as a biological adaptation and that individual differences in play can make a difference in the quality of life that human and nonhuman animals enjoy. " - Psychology Today (Feb 2012)

"Finland's success is especially intriguing because Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in more creative play."  -  The Atlantic (Dec 2011)

"FIVE WAYS PLAY BENEFITS KIDS"  -  The Atlantic (Oct 2011)

"The Top 5 Benefits of Play" - Live Science (Aug 2011)

"Play, Play, and Play Some More: Let Children Be the Animals They Have the Right to Be"  -  Psychology Today (July 2011)

"The Case for Play - How a handful of researchers are trying to save childhood." - The Chronicle Review (Feb 2011)

"Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum"  -  The New York Times (Jan 2011)

"The Decline of Play and the Rise of Psychopathology in Children and Adolescents by Peter Gray"  -  Journal of Play (2011) (pdf)

"But human physical play still has not been extensively studied. Developmental psychologists usually only study play with toys and games. We studied the play of  two friends—pairs of boys and girls at 47 years of age—in an empty room with mats on the floor but no toys. “Play and enjoy,” we told them, and videotaped their interactions for about half an hour."  -  Brain World (Dec 2010)

"Participants were again primed with high-achievement words and asked to complete a word-search puzzle. But instead of describing the task as a serious test of verbal pro­ficiency as before, the researchers called it “fun.” The results of that simple seman­tic change were profound: not only did the supposed slackers perform better on the task this time around, their scores actually surpassed those of the high-achievement crowd." - Scientific American (Aug 2010)  via  Evidence Based Mommy (Oct 2010)

"Play, especially when self-directed, is not only natural — it is vital for our children’s emotional health. Through play babies naturally develop physical and cognitive skills, stretch their imaginations, flex creative muscles, build resiliency and a strong sense of self. Play is the way babies learn best. How do we cultivate this inborn drive?"  -  Janet Lansbury (Sept 2010)

"Independent Infant Play – How It Works"  -  Janet Lansbury (August 2010)

"Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”" - Newsweek (July 2010)

"Play's the Thing, a new book argues that play may be the primary means nature has found to develop our brains." - The Atlantic (May 2010)

"The kind of play that educators and psychologists say encourages executive function is sustained, elaborate imaginary play where kids make a plan, stay in character (doctor, teacher, sales person), and live in that alternate world for an extended period of time." - (May 2010)

"Of Robotic Vacuum Cleaners and Free Range Children"  -  Psychology Today (April 2010)

"For children in past eras, participating in the culture of childhood was a socializing process. They learned to settle their own quarrels, to make and break their own rules, and to respect the rights of others. They learned that friends could be mean as well as kind, and that life was not always fair."  -  The New York Times (March 2010)

"Friendship May Help Stem Rise of Obesity in Children, Study Finds... "Consider a person who usually comes home alone after school and eats out of boredom," says Sarah-Jeanne Salvy, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the University at Buffalo's Division of Behavioral Medicine and first author on the study. "But on this day, she has a play date with a friend and socializes instead of eating. In this case, socializing is acting as a substitute for eating. Identifying substitutes provides a potential way to reduce behavior." - Science Daily (Jan 2010)

"Empowering Neighborhoods and Restoring Play: A Modest Proposal" - Psychology Today (Oct 2009)

The Book "Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul" by  Stuart Brown - Amazon  and  U.S. News  and  The New York Times (Sept 2009)

"Children's play - their inborn disposition for curiosity, imagination, and fantasy - is being silenced in the high-tech, commercialized world we have created. Toys, about which

children once spun elaborate personal fables, now engender little more than habits of passive consumerism. The spontaneous pickup games that once filled neighborhoods have largely been replaced by organized team sports and computer games. Television sitcoms and movie CDs have all but eliminated the self-initiated dramatic play that once mimicked (and mocked) the adult world. Parents, anxious for their children to succeed in an increasingly competitive

global economy, regard play as a luxury that the contemporary child cannot afford.

Over the past two decades, children have lost twelve hours of free time a week, including eight hours of unstructured play and outdoor activities. In contrast, the amount of time children spend in organized sports has doubled, and the number of minutes children devote to passive spectator leisure, not counting television but including sports viewing, has increased fivefold from thirty minutes to over three hours. The disappearance of play from the lives of our children is mirrored in the media. Television programs rarely depict children as simply playing and having a good time. More often they are portrayed as high-achieving miniadults or as preoccupied with school issues or family problems such as divorce, substance abuse, AIDS, and job loss. Even the cartoons have changed. Fred Flintstone and George Jetson never let work get in the way of having fun. Bob the Builder and SpongeBob SquarePants, on the other hand, love their jobs. SpongeBob was even named Employee of the Month at the fast food restaurant where he works. when did life for a child get to be so hard?"  -  Times (Sept 2009)  -  "Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children"

"They and their classmates are enrolled in Tools of the Mind, a relatively new program dedicated to improving the self-regulation abilities of young children, starting as early as age 3." - The New York Times (Sept 2009)

"From landscape to playscape" -  San Francisco Chronicle (July 2009)

"Parents and educators who favor traditional classroom-style learning over free, unstructured playtime in preschool and kindergarten may actually be stunting a child’s development instead of enhancing it, according to a University of Illinois professor who studies childhood learning and literacy development." - Science Daily (Feb 2009)

"The Serious Need for Play - Free, imaginative play is crucial for normal social, emotional and cognitive development. It makes us better adjusted, smarter and less stressed" - Scientific American (Jan 2009)

"How Play Promotes Reasoning in Children and Adults" -  Psychology Today (Dec 2008)

"The more children play outside away from TV and computers, the more they laugh, a study by BBC child psychologist Dr Tessa Livingstone has found."  -  Children and Nature (Nov 2008)

"The Varieties of Play Match the Requirements of Human Existence"  -  Psychology Today (Oct 2008)

"Why We Should Stop Segregating Children by Age: Part III—Older Children Are Excellent Models, Helpers, and Teachers"  -  Psychology Today (Sept 2008)

"Children Educate Themselves III: The Wisdom of Hunter-Gatherers" - Psychology Today (August 2008)

"Have you ever stopped to think about how much children learn in their first few years of life, before they start school, before anyone tries in any systematic way to teach them anything? Their learning comes naturally; it results from their instincts to play, explore, and observe others around them." - Psychology Today (July 2008)

"His recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed that 5-year-olds do better on motor tasks when they talk to themselves out loud (either spontaneously or when told to do so by an adult) than when they are silent." - Science Daily (March 2008)

Self-Regulation, Creative Play, and Television (Feb 2008) via Unplug Your Kids  more at  tvSmarter blog   Fairies and Philosophy

"We named this intervention the Huggy-Puppy intervention (HPI). The HPI is based on providing young children who are undergoing severe stressful events with a new puppy doll and encouraging them to care for this needy puppy."  -  Pediatrics (Jan 2012)

"Recently, I've had to change my mind about the very nature of knowledge because of an obvious, but extremely weird fact about children - they pretend all the time. Walk into any preschool and you'll be surrounded by small princesses and superheroes in overalls - three-year-olds literally spend more waking hours in imaginary worlds than in the real one. Why? Learning about the real world has obvious evolutionary advantages and kids do it better than anyone else. But why spend so much time thinking about wildly, flagrantly unreal worlds? " - Edge (2008)

"Encouraging children to entertain themselves in mentally active and imaginative ways and to avoid passive, quick-fix entertainment could also reduce boredom. “We provide children lots of entertainment in the form of television and iPods to prevent them from developing their inner skills to contend with boredom,” Sundberg says. Engaging in active entertainment, such as playing sports or games, is also much more likely to produce flow, Csikszentmihalyi says. Developing ways to cope with boredom may even help cure other ills. For example, some research hints that if former drug addicts learn to deal effectively with boredom, they are less likely to relapse. In an ongoing study of 156 addicts at a methadone clinic at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, Todman found that the addicts’ reported level of boredom was the only reliable indicator of whether they would stay clean." - Scientific American (Dec 2007)

"Can PLAY Diminish ADHD and Facilitate the Construction of the Social Brain?" - PubMed (May 2007)

"The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds" - Pediatrics (Jan 2007)

"The Changing Nature of Play: Implications for Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury" - PubMed (Jan 2007)

"Forget all the media products for babies on the market and go for the classic building blocks, suggests a new study linking playing with blocks with improved language acquisition in toddlers." - The Vancouver Sun (Nov 2006)

"A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says free and unstructured play is healthy and - in fact - essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient."  -  AAP News Room (2006)

"Wondering whether to boot up your child's favorite computer game or send him or her outside to play? Experts from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., in Princeton, New Jersey, say that outdoor play should be given the highest priority - and not just because it provides physical activity." - The Chidren's Hospital (Feb 2005)

Part 1 of 3  "Development experts say children suffer due to lack of unstructured fun" - Post-Gazette (Oct 2002)

Part 2 of 3  "Creative play makes better  problem-solvers" - Post-Gazette (Oct 2002)

Part 3 of 3  "Experts call unstructured play essential to children's growth" - Post-Gazette (Oct 2002)

"Research Says" - What Kids Need (June 2002)

"There is a growing body of evidence supporting the many connections between cognitive competence and high-quality pretend play."  -  Early Childhood Research & Practice (2002)

Young Children Need to Play!

Kids Not Playing

"The Subversion of Free Play: A Study of the Impacts of Parental Philosophies and Socioeconomic Factors on Television Usage of Children"  -  Academia  and  University of Washington Tacoma

"So we asked Slate readers to answer a survey about what they were allowed to do as kids, and also what they let their own children do today. About 6,000 of you answered, and the results give a fairly clear picture, over several decades, of a shortening leash for American children." - Slate (Aug 2014)

"A shocking study found that 60 per cent of youngsters would rather watch television or play computer games than venture outdoors.  A third of children aged between six and 15 have never climbed a tree, a quarter have never rolled down a hill and almost half have never made a daisy chain, it found.  Researchers discovered that one in ten children cannot ride a bicycle and a third have no idea how to play hopscotch or build a den."  -  Daily Mail (July 2011)

"Do You Think Kids Played Outside More Back In the Day?"  -  Baby Center (June 2011)

"A new survey reveals that today’s children are missing out on pursuits such as cycling and swimming enjoyed by past generations of youngsters, with experts blaming the findings on their parents being too afraid to let them play outside. Rather than go out and ride their bikes, the survey says that today’s kids are more likely to be engrossed in electronic gadgets such as mobile phones and computer games consoles, watching TV or surfing the internet."  -  Road CC (May 2011)

"What does it take to keep children active when they get home from school? It seems that what your neighborhood offers in terms of parks and playgrounds has a lot to do with it. In a study looking at the links between the quality of outdoor public spaces, parents' perception of them, and children's sedentary behavior, Dr. Jenny Veitch and colleagues, from the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research at Deakin University in Australia, show that neighborhood features do influence whether or not children watch less television and play fewer computer games after school."  -  E! Science News (Feb 2011)

"Researchers have discovered what parents have known for years - youngsters would rather watch TV or play computer games than go outside. A study of 1,000 parents and 500 children found that most devote almost all their spare time to staring at screens rather than going outdoors. Described as the 'Indoor Generation' it's said children actually spend twice as much leisure time indoors compared to being outside. Asked what they enjoy doing most, children opted for going to the cinema, playing computer games and going online. Bizarrely 70% of the parents quizzed said they thought the reason their kids stayed inside was bad weather… not that computer games are just much better now. "  -  News Lite (Jan 2011)

"A Nielsen study last year found that children aged 6 to 11 spent more than 28 hours a week using computers, cellphones, televisions and other electronic devices. A University of Michigan study found that from 1979 to 1999, children on the whole lost 12 hours of free time a week, including eight hours of unstructured play and outdoor activities. One can only assume that the figure has increased over the last decade, as many schools have eliminated recess in favor of more time for


One consequence of these changes is the disappearance of what child-development experts call “the culture of childhood.” This culture, which is to be found all over the world, was best documented in its English-language form by the British folklorists Peter and Iona Opie in the 1950s. They cataloged the songs, riddles, jibes and incantations (“step on a crack, break your mother’s back”) that were passed on by oral tradition. Games like marbles, hopscotch and hide and seek date back hundreds of years. The children of each generation adapted these games to their own circumstances.

Yet this culture has disappeared almost overnight, and not just in America. For example, in the 1970s a Japanese photographer, Keiki Haginoya, undertook what was to be a lifelong project to compile a photo documentary of children’s play on the streets of Tokyo. He gave up the project in 1996, noting that the spontaneous play and laughter that once filled the city’s streets, alleys and vacant lots had utterly vanished. "  -  The New York Times (March 2010)

"American children aged 2-11 are watching more and more television than they have in years. New findings from The Nielsen Company show kids aged 2-5 now spend more than 32 hours a week on average in front of a TV screen. The older segment of that group (ages 6-11) spend a little less time, about 28 hours per week watching TV, due in part that they are more likely to be attending school for longer hours." - Neilsen Wire (Oct 2009)

"But today, for most middle-class American children, "going out to play" has gone the way of the dodo, the typewriter and the eight-track tape. From 1981 to 1997, for instance, University of Michigan time-use studies show that 3- to 5-year-olds lost an average of 501 minutes of unstructured playtime each week; 6- to 8-year-olds lost an average of 228 minutes. (On the other hand, kids now do more organized activities and have more homework, the lucky devils!) And forget about walking to school alone. Today's kids don't walk much at all (adding to the childhood obesity problem)... Forget the television fear-mongering: Your child stands about the same chance of being struck by lightning as of being the victim of what the Department of Justice calls a "stereotypical kidnapping." And unless you live in Baghdad, your child stands a much, much greater chance of being killed in a car accident than of being seriously harmed while wandering unsupervised around your neighborhood."  -  L.A. Times (May 2008)

"While most teenagers (60 percent) spend on average 20 hours per week in front of television and computer screens, a third spend closer to 40 hours per week, and about 7 percent are exposed to more than 50 hours of 'screen-time' per week, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 48th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention." - Science Daily (March 2008)

"The results also showed that for seven- to 12-year-olds, the more TV they watched, the less time they spent doing homework, and among kids of all ages -- especially among those younger than five -- more TV meant significantly less creative play." - MedPage Today (Feb 2006)  and  Pediatrics (Feb 2006)

"Young people spend an average of three hours a day watching TV, and close to four hours a day (3:51) when videos and prerecorded shows are included. TV-watching time is highest among younger kids: 8-to 10-year-olds spend more than four hours a day (4:10), including videos and recorded shows. (page 26)" - Kaiser Study (2005)

"A poll of 2,100 children conducted by the Telegraph has found that half of eight to 14-year-olds watch a minimum of four hours of television a day during term time.  Even more time is spent in front of the television at weekends and holidays, with some children more than doubling their daily viewing."  - The Telegraph (July 2004)

"Development experts say children suffer due to lack of unstructured fun" - Post-Gazette (Oct 2002)

"Now an alarming new survey from the Children's Society and the Children's Play Council reveals just how unhealthy the next generation has become.  The poll of 670 children, which was released yesterday, shows 40 per cent don't go out as much as they would like and 20 per cent admit they spend less than an hour a week outdoors." - Mirror UK News (March 2005)

"Getting Lost in the Great Indoors. Many Adults Worry Nature Is Disappearing From Children's Lives" - The Washington Post (June 2007)

"Neighborhoods are like ghost towns, kids don't play outside" - Daily 49er (Sept 2006)

"...exercising regularly and staying thin will reduce lifetime CAD incidence and death. Thus, if you are highly oriented towards protecting your child from fatal accidents, say by encouraging them to stay indoors, this could actually reduce their safety and life expectancy over the course of their lives." - Psychology Today Blog (Nov 2009)

"Why Day Care Kids Don’t Play Outside" - The New York Times Blog (May 2008)

"Mom lets 9-year-old take subway home alone. Columnist stirs controversy with experiment in childhood independence" - MSNBC (April 2008)

"Play is rapidly disappearing from our homes, our schools, and our neighborhoods. Over the last two decades alone, children have lost eight hours of free, unstructured, and spontaneous play a week. More than 30,000 schools in the United States have eliminated recess to make more time for academics. From 1997 to 2003, children’s time spent out­doors fell 50 percent, according to a study by Sandra Hofferth at the University of Maryland. Hofferth has also found that the amount of time children spend in organized sports has doubled, and the number of minutes children devote each week to passive leisure, not including watching television, has increased from 30 minutes to more than three hours. It is no surprise, then, that childhood obesity is now considered an epidemic." - Sharp Brains (June 2008)

"Is your child ready for first grade? Earlier this month, Chicago Now blogger Christine Whitley reprinted a checklist from a 1979 child-rearing series designed to help a parent figure that one out. Ten out of 12 meant readiness. Can your child "draw and color and stay within the lines of the design being colored?" Of course. Can she count "eight to ten pennies correctly?" Heck, yeah, I say for parents of kindergarteners everywhere. "Does your child try to write or copy letters or numbers?" Isn't that what preschool is for?

"Can he travel alone in the neighborhood (four to eight blocks) to store, school, playground, or to a friend's home?"

It's amazing what a difference 30 years have made. Academically, that 1979 first grader (who also needed to be "six years, six months" old and "have two to five permanent or second teeth") would have been considered right on target to start preschool. In terms of life skills, she's heading for middle school, riding her two-wheeled bike and finding her own way home. It's not surprising that I came to this link via Lenore Skenazy's Free-Range Kids blog. What is surprising is just how shocking a jolt it is to realize how stark the difference is between then and now." - Slate (August 2011)

"Of course, some children are pushed to anxiety through too many résumé-boosting activities. The problem is when this tiny sliver of American children sets the cultural narrative, chipping away at support for additional study time and the after-school activities that less-privileged children need. Already, districts facing budget crises are putting sports and after-school programs on the chopping block. It's like college health centers fretting over anorexia when the greater risk for most students is obesity. In a world in which only 23% of ACT-takers show scores that indicate "college readiness" in math, English, reading and science, and when studies peg the average teen television time somewhere between 15 and 24 hours a week, most children are not at risk of being overscheduled." - The Wall Street Journal (Sept 2009)

Natural Environment

"More specifically, we’ll look the research suggesting greenery improves concentration, impulse control and hyperactivity in children."  -  Psychology Today (June 2013) 

"The more natural the outdoor environment, the greater the benefits seem to be. A recent study by Dawn Coe, PhD, at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, compared children’s activity levels on natural versus traditional playgrounds. The natural playground incorporated logs, flowers, trees, rocks, and a creek into its design, and the traditional playground featured colorful metal equipment. Children were more active in the natural setting."  -  Psychology Today (August 2013)  and  University of Tennessee (Oct 2012)

"Andrea Faber Taylor and Frances Kuo, researchers at the Human Environment Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have found that spending time in ordinary "green" settings—such as parks, farms or grassy backyards—reduces symptoms of ADHD when compared to time spent at indoor playgrounds and man-made recreation areas of concrete and asphalt. The findings were consistent regardless of the child's age, gender, family income, geographic region or severity of diagnosis." - Psychology Today (March 2012)

"Exactly the same findings were observed - students felt in a better mood after outdoor, natural walks and more connected with nature, yet they failed to anticipate the magnitude of these benefits." - BPS Research (Sept 2011)

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (2006)

"Why our children need to get outside and engage with nature"  -  The Guardian (August 2010)

"To escape the discomforts of mental fatigue, people often turn to activities that “capture" their attention. They find external events to distract them, so they don’t have to concentrate so hard. Watching TV, for instance, requires little willpower: the programs do the work, and the brain follows along... Soft fascination, on the other hand, is the kind of stimulation one finds on, say, a stroll along the beach or in the woods. Nothing overwhelms the attention, says Stephen, “and the beauty provides pleasure that complements the gentle stimulation." The brain can soak up pleasing images, but it can also wander, reflect, and recuperate."  -  Working Well Recourses (Nov 2009)  and  Psychology Today (August 2010)

"Results. In this national, nonprobability sample, green outdoor activities reduced symptoms significantly more than did activities conducted in other settings, even when activities were matched across settings. Findings were consistent across age, gender, and income groups; community types; geographic regions; and diagnoses.

Conclusions. Green outdoor settings appear to reduce ADHD symptoms in children across a wide range of individual, residential, and case characteristics."  -  American Journal of Public Health (Sept 2004)  and  Uplift Program (Sept 2004)

"Gone are the days of neighborhoods filled with the voices of children riding bikes, climbing trees and playing ball in the yard into the twilight hours. Somehow the free-range outdoor days of childhood that many adults recall are no longer part of childhood. Recent studies indicate that American children, on average, spend about 30 minutes of unstructured play time outdoors each week."  -  Health Scope

"Toys”R”Us has gotten a jump-start on the holiday market with a new television ad, in which a busload of schoolchildren are taken on “the best field trip they could wish for.” It’s hosted, according to the side of the bus, by the imaginary “Meet the Trees Foundation.” Just as the kids look ready to die of boredom during a round of “Name That Leaf,” there’s a surprise twist — they aren’t going to a boring forest, they’re going to “the world’s greatest toy store!”"  -  Salon (Oct 2013)

"A recent report from the UK National Trust attracted some media attention. It documents the fact that children in the UK spend less time outside than previous generations; stay closer to their houses; are less likely to walk to school; and are unable to identify many common wildlife species." - Psychology Today (April 2012)

"Braver, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, was one of five neuroscientists on an unusual journey. They spent a week in late May in this remote area of southern Utah, rafting the San Juan River, camping on the soft banks and hiking the tributary canyons.

It was a primitive trip with a sophisticated goal: to understand how heavy use of digital devices and other technology changes how we think and behave, and how a retreat into nature might reverse those effects." - Daily Good (Aug 2010)

"The numbers coincide with national polls indicating that children and teenagers play outdoors less than young people did in the past. Between 1997 and 2003, the proportion of children ages 9 to 12 who spent time hiking, walking, fishing, playing on the beach or gardening declined 50 percent, according to a University of Maryland study." - SF Gate (Oct 2007)

"In a typical week, only 6 percent of children ages nine to thirteen play outside on their own. Studies by the National Sporting Goods Association and by American Sports Data, a research firm, show a dramatic decline in the past decade in such outdoor activities as swimming and fishing. Even bike riding is  down 31 percent since 1995." - Alternet (March 2007)

"Nature Conservancy President Steve McCormick said the study suggests Americans and their children in particular are losing their connection to the natural world." - The Epoch Times (June 2006)

"Childhood pastimes are increasingly moving indoors" - Alternet (July 2005) 

"But for many children and adolescents, the problem is the opposite of being sedentary. Encouraged by parents and coaches, many with visions of glory and scholarships, too many young athletes are being pushed — or are pushing themselves — to the point of breaking down, physically and sometimes emotionally. " - The New York Times (May 2010)

"Organized sports have become the play of many children but actually only about a quarter of all children are playing an organized sport during any season of the year. So the vast majority are just sitting around, growing obese at an alarming rate and missing out on important socializing... So where have all the bicycles gone? Getting that first 2-wheeler used to be one of childhood’s most exciting moments. It meant an expansion of the child’s world. The opportunity to travel beyond one’s street and meet friends at the playground, ball field, or just go to someone’s house on your own was an exciting new stage of independence. It also meant lots of exercise. But bicycle sales are plummeting — over a 20% decline in just the past 5 years. Now less than half of children ages 7-11 regularly ride a bike. This is a serious change in the culture of our children’s lives."  -  PsychCentral (Aug 2012)

"The homeowners of a small community in Silver Springs now wish to ban children from playing outdoors. Their stated reason - safety. Fines of $100 will be leveled on transgressive tykes."  -  Psychology Today Blog (April 2011)

"Summer is now fast approaching and children should be going outside for the day and hanging out with their friends. But if you drive through a subdivision even now you rarely see children let alone children who are unsupervised."  -  Mount Pleasant Patch (May 2011)

"Play is becoming a dinosaur in the lives of children in 21st century America. According to studies, school-age children's playtime decreased by 25 percent and older children's playtime by 45 percent between 1981 and 1997. Unstructured outdoor activities also declined by 50 percent. " - Huffington Post (Dec 2010)

"When George Thomas was eight he walked everywhere. It was 1926 and his parents were unable to afford the fare for a tram, let alone the cost of a bike and he regularly walked six miles to his favourite fishing haunt without adult supervision. Fast forward to 2007 and Mr Thomas's eight-year-old great-grandson Edward enjoys none of that freedom. He is driven the few minutes to school, is taken by car to a safe place to ride his bike and can roam no more than 300 yards from home. Even if he wanted to play outdoors, none of his friends strays from their home or garden unsupervised."  -  Daily Mail (June 2007)

"In the time since Skenazy walked off to kindergarten alone, the number of children that can be found in public without supervision has only diminished. In one survey, 85 percent of mothers said they allowed their kids outside unsupervised less frequently than they themselves were allowed. In Britain, the average age of children allowed to play outside adult-free has risen by more than a year since the ’70s, and 25 percent of 8- to 10-year-olds have never played outside without an adult."  -  Salon (July 2012)

"All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids Are More Anxious, Depressed"  -  The Atlantic (Oct 2011)

"This week the decline in children's play will be laid bare when ministers admit that one in four eight- to 10-year-olds have never played outside without an adult and one in three parents will not even allow older children, aged eight to 15, to play outside the house or garden."  -  The Guardian (March 2008)

"A new study has found that almost half of preschool children do not venture outside to play each day.

The research, conducted by Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington, also showed that young girls are 16per cent less likely to head into the fresh air than young boys."  -  Mail Online (April 2012)

"Picture this. It is 2005, I arrive for the first time in Tokyo. I am making my way across the busy city to attend a meeting when I encounter a small group of kindergarten children walking home from school. They are oblivious to my presence as they busy themselves crossing streets, picking up autumn leaves, straddling low brick kerbs and chatting. There is not a supervising adult in sight, no older siblings. As a parent I feel a sense of foreboding – I worry about their safety. I recount my experience to a Japanese colleague and exclaim ”there were no adults watching out for them”. He is a little taken back. ”What do you mean, no adults? There were the car drivers, the shopkeepers, the other pedestrians. The city is full of adults who are taking care of them!” On average, 80 per cent of primary age Japanese children walk to school." - Free Range Kids (March 2012)

Animals at Play

"Despite all this, those who do look into the matter are invariably forced to the conclusion that play does exist across the animal universe. And exists not just among such notoriously frivolous creatures as monkeys, dolphins, or puppies, but among such unlikely species as frogs, minnows, salamanders, fiddler crabs, and yes, even ants—which not only engage in frivolous activities as individuals, but also have been observed since the nineteenth century to arrange mock-wars, apparently just for the fun of it... We don’t have to explain why creatures desire to be alive. Life is an end in itself. And if what being alive actually consists of is having powers—to run, jump, fight, fly through the air—then surely the exercise of such powers as an end in itself does not have to be explained either."  -  The Baffler (Feb 2014)

"When monkeys are raised only in the presence of adults of their species, who do not play, they grow up not playing.  When tested in early adulthood, they prove to be emotionally crippled.[2] When placed in a novel environment, which would induce a moderate and temporary degree of fear in a normal monkey, they become incapacitated by fear, which they fail to overcome with time.  When confronted with another young adult of their species, they cower excessively, or lash out with inappropriate aggression, or alternate between the two.  In contrast, control monkeys raised in similar conditions, but with regular opportunities to play with other young monkeys, are able to modulate their emotions in these tests and adapt well to the initially threatening conditions.

Similar results have been found in experiments with rats.[3]  In one set of experiments some otherwise peer-deprived young rats were allowed to interact for an hour per day with a playful peer while others were allowed to interact for an hour per day with a peer that had been rendered non-playful by injection of the drug amphetamine.[4]  Amphetamine—which is essentially the same drug that we use to “treat” ADHD in human children--knocks out the play drive in young rats without knocking out other social behaviors.  The results of these experiments were that rats that had experience playing with a peer behaved much more normally in adulthood than did those that had the same amount of exposure to a non-playful peer.  Apparently, the crucial interactions between young rats for normal emotional and social development occur in play.  In other experiments, play-deprived young rats showed abnormal patterns of brain development. Without play, neural pathways running from frontal areas of the brain—areas known to be crucial for controlling impulses and emotions—failed to develop normally.[5]"  -  Psychology Today (June 2012)

"Whales and Dolphins at Play: A Great Lift That'll Make Your Day" - Psychology Today (Jan 2012)

"A Snowboarding Crow Playing and Having Fun" - Psychology Today (Jan 2012)

"Dr Davila Ross said it was likely that the lessons learned in play fighting helped apes deal with real conflict, and that by 'role-playing' the chaser and the chased the apes would develop more refined and sophisticated communication skills." - Science Daily (July 2010)

"These behaviors, including altruism, tolerance, forgiveness, reciprocity and fairness, are readily evident in the egalitarian way wolves and coyotes play with one another. Canids (animals in the dog family) follow a strict code of conduct when they play, which teaches pups the rules of social engagement that allow their societies to succeed. Play also builds trusting relationships among pack members, which enables divisions of labor, dominance hierarchies and cooperation in hunting, raising young, and defending food and territory."  -  Scientific American (Feb 2010)  and  Psychology Today (August 2010)

"He and his colleagues exposed half of a group of rats to a traumatic experience (half were controls). They then enabled half the rats to play and interact with other rats, as opposed to being in their normal cages. The results were staggering; Rats who were able to interact with other rats (make "rat friends") for 9 days had less stress when again exposed to the traumatic experience 3 weeks later." - Psychology Today (Dec 2009)

"One of the clearest places to see how specific social rules apply is in animal play. Play has been extensively studied in social canids (members of the dog family) like wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs, so it is a good example to use to examine the mechanisms of fair play. Although play is fun, it's also serious business. When animals play, they are constantly working to understand and follow the rules and to communicate their intentions to play fairly. They fine-tune their behavior on the run, carefully monitoring the behavior of their play partners and paying close attention to infractions of the agreed-upon rules. Four basic aspects of fair play in animals are: Ask first, be honest, follow the rules, and admit you're wrong. When the rules of play are violated, and when fairness breaks down, so does play."  -  The Chronicle Review (Oct 2009)

"In an article published in the April issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, Sergio and Vivian Pellis of the University of Lethbridge reviewed multiple studies involving animals, and found a link between rough and tumble play and social competence." - Science Daily (March 2007)

"Why would a behavior develop across multiple species if it doesn't have some ulterior function? The most common theory is that juveniles play at the skills they will need as adults. But some newer thinking proposes it's more than that. In fact, play seems to have some immediate perks, such as aerobic conditioning, as well as long-term benefits that include preparing animals for the unexpected and giving them a sense of morality... Human children learn similar lessons in their play as they interact with peers and learn which behaviors gain them friends and social status and which do not, say researchers." - American Psychological Association (March 2002)

"Mammalian play: training for the unexpected."  -  Pubmed (June 2001)


"Study confirms robust daydreaming and superior intelligence are connected." - Psycholodgy Today (Jan 2010)

"Study confirms robust daydreaming and superior intelligence are connected." - The Frontal Cortex (Sept 2008)

Play Therapy

"ESDM was designed to address the needs of toddlers with autism as young as 12 months old, and it is delivered by trained therapists and their parents in a very natural setting -- the child's own home -- with children sitting on the floor and playing, rather than having a more adult-directed therapy. "It's a very pleasing kind of therapy, kids are happy. It is play, and it can happen everywhere," Rogers explains. Dawson adds that this type of intervention builds on a fun, positive relationship with the therapist." - CNN (Nov 2009)

Play at School

"TWENTY years ago, kids in preschool, kindergarten and even first and second grade spent much of their time playing: building with blocks, drawing or creating imaginary worlds, in their own heads or with classmates. But increasingly, these activities are being abandoned for the teacher-led, didactic instruction typically used in higher grades. In many schools, formal education now starts at age 4 or 5." - New York Times (May 2015)

Yes to Recess

"Repeated studies have shown that when recess is delayed, children pay less and less attention. They are more focused on days when they have recess. A major study in Pediatrics found that children with more than 15 minutes of recess a day were far better behaved in class than children who had shorter recess breaks or none at all." - Slate (Aug 2012)

"Forget Goofing Around: Recess Has a New Boss" - The New York Times (March 2010)

"More than 80 percent of elementary-school principals believe that recess has a positive impact on academic achievement, according to a new Gallup survey released Thursday. The support for recess comes even though testing pressures have led to cutbacks in the amount of playtime in US schools." - The Christian Science Monitor (Feb 2010)

"Play, Then Eat: Shift May Bring Gains at School" - New York Times (Jan 2010)

"The 3 R’s? A Fourth Is Crucial, Too: Recess" - New York Times (Feb 2009)

"These results indicated that, among 8- to 9-year-old children, having =1 daily recess period of >15 minutes in length was associated with better teacher's rating of class behavior scores. This study suggests that schoolchildren in this age group should be provided with daily recess." - Pediatrics (Feb 2009)

"School Recess Improves Behavior" - The New York Times (Jan 2009)

"Experts: Recess improves student behavior" - USA Today (Jan 2009)

"Impact of Recess on Classroom Behavior: Group Effects and Individual Differences" - JSTOR (Nov 1998)

"The Effects of Recess Timing on Children’s Playground and Classroom Behaviors" - Sage Journals (Dec 1995)

"Relations between children's playground and classroom behaviour" - Wiley Online Library (Feb 1993)

"Research shows that play and recess support learning" - Museum of Play

No to Recess

"What About Play? When "screen time" and drills replace open-ended play, kids lose out" - Rethinking Schools (Spring 2005)

"Why Day Care Kids Don’t Play Outside" - The New York Times Blog (May 2008)

"An estimated 40 percent of elementary schools have eliminated or cut back recess, according to the American Association for the Child's Right to Play. In Atlanta, recess has been abandoned altogether and new schools are built without playgrounds." - (May 2005)

Essays on Play

"The play deficit Children today are cossetted and pressured in equal measure. Without the freedom to play they will never grow up" - Aeon (Sept 2013)

"Similarly, Brittany, an American mom, was stunned when she moved her young family to Sweden and saw 3- and 4-year-olds with no adult supervision bicycling down the street, climbing the roofs of playhouses and scaling tall trees with no adult supervision. The first time she saw a 3-year-old high up in a tree at preschool, she started searching for the teacher to let her know. Then she saw another parent stop and chat with one of the little tree occupants, completely unfazed. It was clear that no one but Brittany was concerned."  - Huffington Post (May 2013)

"The third ingredient of friendship formation is shared fun. A classic study by psychologist John Gottman looked at the emergence of friendship between unacquainted children. Eighteen pairs of children, aged three to nine years, got together at one of their homes for three play dates. The researchers found that a key predictor of whether the children “hit it off” was the extent to which they were able to sustain shared activity during the play dates." - Psychology Today (Sept 2012)

"Psychoanalyst and pediatrician Donald Winnicott says in his classic work Playing and Reality that the ability to play, to engage in the creative process is, more than anything else, what makes life worth living. Without it, a person becomes depressed. And, according to Winnicott, what allows an adult to engage in this meaningful process of creativity is the childhood experience of creative play, free from the rules and restraints of the adult world." - Psychology Today (Aug 2011)

"This wasn’t the first study to look into how drumming helps children. One of the earliest studies, published in 1976 in the Journal of Music Therapy,  investigated how a percussion “game” improved social behaviors for children with mental retardation." - Psychology Today (March 2011)

"I recently spent a few days in Bilbao, Spain, and was amazed to walk on streets full of children. Is there a population explosion in Spain? In the middle-class community where I was staying, I was reassured that the birth rate is below that of most parts of North America and yet the streets vibrate with life. There is no need for long SUV commutes to get the little ones to soccer practice as the children wander from their apartments after school and play in the city squares. There are always adults nearby, often sitting with neighbours drinking coffee, or a glass of wine. What looks like chaos is actually a careful dance by which a community raises its children together." - Psychology Today (April 2011)

"Why Child's Play is Tough on Parents Part 1"  -  Psychology Today (Jan 2011)

"Why Child's Play is Tough on Parents Part 2"  -  Psychology Today (Jan 2011)

"HUMMINGBIRD PARENTS: Seven Actions Parents Can Take To Reduce Risk And Still Get Their Kids Outside" - Psychology Today (Dec 2010)

How to encourage creative play and "Reading for Imaginative Play" - Psychology Today (Nov 2010)

"Game-play and the development of social intelligence. " - Psychology Today (Nov 2010)

"The thesis of my article-buttressed by many citations-was that, throughout history and in the majority of the world's cultures, adults rarely play with children. Indeed, there are many societies, carefully described by anthropologists, where babies are fed on demand, protected from danger and the elements, but not talked to or played with-and they turn out just fine. " - Psychology Today (Oct 2010)

"At a RIE Conference several years ago a friend and I were presenting a workshop on infant and toddler play and attempted an audacious experiment. We asked another friend to bring her 15 month old daughter to the event, daring to hope that the baby might give a live demonstration of independent, self-directed play." -  Janet Lansbury (Sept 2010)

"The third discovery my daughter has made, now that I've abdicated my role as cruise director, is herself." - Psychology Today (May 2010)

"Role-playing games pull reluctant school kids into a supportive crowd" - The Christian Science Monitor (April 2010)

"How to let kids be kids" - Seattle PI (Sept 2009)

"A Play Challenge" - One in 36 Million (March 2009)

"Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages. This is espe­cially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and even invent their own rules." - Sharp Brains (June 2008)

"Nurturing Imagination" - The Informed Parent

"Why Creative Play Matters" -

"Play, Empathy and TV" - hand in hand

"World Play Day (May 28)"  -  Delaware Children's Museum

"This is the story of two little boys from the small town of Frederick, Oklahoma. In 1910 at age 6 and 10, they went on a remarkable adventure all alone. The Abernathy Brothers, Louis(Bud) and Temple(Temp), rode all alone, on horseback, from Frederick, Oklahoma, in southwest Oklahoma, to New York City, some 2,000 miles away to visit their friend, President Teddy Roosevelt."  -  Bud and Temple

 TV Makes Play Boring

"This ownership phenomenon is well-known to adults who read a book, and then go see a movie based on the book. The movie never lives up to our expectations because our imaginations have engaged the story, wrestled and played with it, and made it our own .Children who become addicted to TV gradually lose their ability to engross themselves in self-directed, creative play. They become easily bored.The arousal effect of TVs rapid movement and boisterous color and sound produces restless and aggressive behav ior among children, and makes it more difficult for non-video activities to engage their interest. Their ability to concentrate on tasks is impaired. Their ability to grow and develop in school and in the home is retarded." - The New Citizen (Fall 1992)

Preschool - More Play

"Parents and educators who favor traditional classroom-style learning over free, unstructured playtime in preschool and kindergarten may actually be stunting a child’s development instead of enhancing it, according to a University of Illinois professor who studies childhood learning and literacy development." - Science Daily (Feb 2009)

Preschool - Less Play

"The study found that among preschool-aged children, those in home-based daycares watched TV for 2.4 hours per day on average, compared to 0.4 hours in center-based settings. Some home-based programs were closer to the center-based programs in amount of time they used television, particularly those programs in which the staff had college degrees. With the exception of infants, children in home-based child care programs were exposed to significantly more television on an average day than children in center-based programs..." - Science Daily (Nov 2009)

Play School

"“I believe that to impose anything by authority is wrong. The child should not do anything until he comes to the opinion—his own opinion—that it should be done” (Neill 1995). Neill put these ideas into practice at Summerhill, a British boarding school that exists to this day... Zoë Neill Readhead, who is Neill’s daughter and the current head of Summerhill, complains that parents have become too permissive for her own school.

In the 1940s and ‘50s, Summerhill seemed like a progressive, revolutionary place. But today's kids are being spoiled by their parents—so much so that Summerhill faculty feel compelled to teach students the basics of self-discipline.

As Neill Readhead writes(Neill Readhead 2006): “Now the Summerhill community finds itself in the role of disciplinarian, teaching kids that they can’t do what they like and that they have to have regard for other people’s rights and feelings—a bit of a role reversal that Neill would have found interesting.”" - Parenting Science (2010)

"It's every modern parent's worst nightmare—a school where kids can play all day. But no one takes the easy way out, and graduates seem to have a head start on the information age. Welcome to Sudbury Valley." - Psychology Today (May 2006)

Summer Camp

"My Daughter Went Away to Camp and Changed" - Slate (July 2013)

Play Resources

Amazon Listmania List of Books on: The Power of Play

"Freedom to Learn" - Psychology Today Blog

"Let Your Kids Go Outside and Play" - Playborhood Blog

"Giving our kids the freedom we had without going nuts with worry" - Free-Range Kids

"Play Category" - tvSmarter Blog 

"The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working worldwide to reconnect children with nature. C&NN provides access to the latest news and research in the field and a peer-to-peer network of researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children's health and well-being." -

"Take your kids outside and skim stones, count butterflies or go fishing." - Leave No Child Inside 

"Discovery Time is a hands-on activity-based programme that puts students in control of their own learning" - Discovery Time 

"It all started with one woman hanging out flyers in the winter of 2006. She just wanted her daughter to have other kids to play with like she did when she was a kid, outside in all kinds of weather." -

Natural Playground Company 

Non-Profits Promoting Play

American Association for the Child's Right to Play "The U.S.A. Affiliate of the International Play Association: Promoting the Child's Right to Play."

Boys and Girls Clubs of America "Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun. They are truly The Positive Place For Kids."

Children and Nature Network "Building a Movement to Reconnect Children and Nature"

Fair Play for Children "Promoting the Child's Right to Play since 1973 in the UK and Worldwide according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child" 

Kaboom "THE KaBOOM! VISION A great place to play within walking distance of every child in America."

National Play Outside Day "Our purpose is to create a habit of outdoor play and activity for kids, families, adults and grandparents --- just like when we were kids."

Play England "Play England aims for all children and young people in England to have regular access and opportunity for free, inclusive, local play provision and play space."

PlayWorks "Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that supports learning by providing safe, healthy and inclusive play and physical activity to low-income schools at recess and throughout the entire school day. We currently operate our direct service program in more than 300 schools in 23 US cities, and serve more than 130,000 elementary school students every day."

Pop-Up Adventure "How did you play as a child?  Did you roam the neighborhood, making friends and having adventures? We help parents and local organizations to compensate for the loss of these opportunities encountered by today’s children.  We do this through promoting the Pop-Up Adventure Playground model, which provides children the chance to meet one another and play in the ways that are meaningful to them in each and every dynamic moment.  These public play events create child-led zones, are stocked with found objects and everyday materials, and staffed by trained playworkers who support children’s play without directing it.  At the same time, parents are able to interact with one another, and spend quality time with their children, in playful and relaxing ways."

Strong National Museum of Play "Strong is the only museum in the world devoted to PLAY!"

The Alliance for Childhood "The Alliance for Childhood promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living."

The American Journal of Play "A new interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the study of play."

The National Institute For Play "The National Institute for Play unlocks the human potential through play in all stages of life using science to discover all that play has to teach us about transforming our world."

Non-Profits Promoting Educational TV "Created by Cable, offered as a public Service" (U.S.A.)

PBS "With your support, PBS programs and education services enrich the lives of all Americans." (U.S.A.) Note: Study Finds Lack of Balance, Diversity, Public at PBS NewsHour -

PBS imported Teletubbies from the BBC last year and is aggressively marketing the program as educational for "children as young as one." - The American Prospect (May 1999)

Planet Read "Same Language Subtitling (SLS) is a simple yet powerful idea by which lyrics are added as subtitles to film songs on TV programs. Words are highlighted in perfect timing as they are sung. This association of the spoken and written word is a proven method to improve reading skills." (India) Article about Planet Read

Sesame Workshop "Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit organization of writers, artists, researchers, and educators. Best known for Sesame Street, we create educational content for children from birth through age 12, delivered through a variety of media including television, radio, the Internet, film, home video, books, magazines, and community outreach." (International) Note: Experts Rip 'Sesame' TV Aimed at Tiniest Tots

Smart Television Alliance "TiVo is proud to support the Smart Television Alliance."

Instead of TV (for babies)

CCFC - The Screen-Free Guide to Showers for Harried Parents of Infants and Toddlers - 16 tips to manage toddlers--without resorting to television

Unplug Your Kids - Toddler Trick (so I can make dinner) – Find the Frog! - Keeping Our Toddler Busy

Janet - A Creative Alternative To Baby TV Time

Janet - Independent Infant Play – How It Works

Janet - Baby You Are Born to Play

The New Parents Guide - Baby Play Pens

The New Parents Guide - Baby Jumpers

Baby Jumperoos

Six things you need to do for your baby

Moving towards a screen-free lifestyle with kids

Selected Play Quotes 

       from the Strong National Museum of Play

Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.

- Stuart Brown, M.D. Contemporary American psychiatrist

It is a happy talent to know how to play.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer 1803-1882

Life must be lived as play.

- Plato, Greek philosopher 427-347 BCE

Play is our brain's favorite way of learning.

- Diane Ackerman, Contemporary American author

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.

- Abraham Maslow, American psychologist 1908-1970

Whoever wants to understand much must play much.

- Gottfried Benn, German physician 1886-1956

A child loves his play, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.

- Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician 1903-1998

Play fosters belonging and encourages cooperation.

- Stuart Brown, M.D. Contemporary American psychiatrist

Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.

- Kay Redfield Jamison

Contemporary American professor of psychiatry

Do not…keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.

- Plato, Greek philosopher 427-347 BCE

Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.

- O. Fred Donaldson, Contemporary American martial arts master

TV Limiting Technology

List & Comparison of TV blockers

Token Timer

Power Cop

Play Limit

Power Plug Lock

Time Machine

Eye Timer

TV Be Gone

TV Be Gone - Article

Stanford Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television (SMART) curriculum is being used in California and Michigan. SMART in San Francisco, SMART in Canada